After a 10-goal game on opening night, the offensive chances were replaced by defensive efforts.
The Buffalo Sabres looked like a more cohesive unit, but were unable to convert on their quality chances at 5-on-5 or on the power play in their 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday at KeyBank Center. Buffalo went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, matched up against a tough Washington unit penalty kill unit.
We fall to the Caps. pic.twitter.com/vJ39IWOaWx
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 16, 2021
While Buffalo outshot the Capitals throughout the night, they were stymied until Sabres coach Ralph Krueger shifted the lines. In the second period he moved Sam Reinhart onto a line with Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall and they found success to start the third when Rasmus Ristolainen scored to tie the game.
Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson scored for the Capitals to lift them to their second win as many night against the Sabres.
While Buffalo outshot the Capitals 31-21 on the night, they also missed 14 shots and had another seven blocked.
Linus Ullmark stopped 19 shots in his season debut. Vitek Vanecek made his NHL debut between the pipes and registered 30 saves for Washington.